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International Airlines Slam EU For Sustainable Fuel Mandates

The European Union’s behavior is “anti-aviation” because of mandates obliging airlines to use so-called sustainable aviation fuels as a lower-carbon alternative to ht fuel.

This is the message that the aviation industry had for the EU at its annual meeting that began today.

“I think it’s fair to portray the EU as being anti-aviation, whereas other parts of the world are very positive, pro-aviation,” the head of the International Air Transport Association, Willie Walsh, said as quoted by Euractiv and Reuters.

Earlier this year, the European Union approved new rules for the aviation industry, mandating airlines to add a minimum of 2% of sustainable aviation fuel to overall fuel by 2025 and raise this to as much as 70% by 2050.

Sustainable aviation fuel, which could reduce the emissions generated from air travel by up to 80%, is produced from waste animal fats. A recent study from energy transition advocacy Transport and Environment warned that growing demand for SAFs would create unsustainable demand for animal fats.

Another recent report warned that the surge in demand for animal fats that the SAF mandates will cause, will have negative consequences on the environment by prompting a similar-scale surge in palm oil production, again because of the limited supply of waste animal fats.

There is also a problem with cost. Currently, SAFs are several times costlier than regular jet fuel. According to the chief executive of Boeing, they would never reach price parity with the hydrocarbon fuel.

“We will create scale and get more economic,” Dave Calhoun tolf the Financial Times last month. He then went on to add that “No, I don’t think we will ever achieve the price of Jet A. I don’t think that will ever happen. It is more positive and it will have an impact, but it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be.”

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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